Image by Raimundo Fernandez Diez Getty Images
Established in 1980, this national park is one of Indonesia's – if not the world's – greatest natural treasures. Within its 1817 sq km area are Komodo, Rinca and Padar Islands, as well as smaller islands and a rich marine ecosystem that affords divers unforgettable underwater adventures. Those who spot ora, snorkel or climb to Padar's peak are equally spoilt.
On Komodo where the hiking is superb, treks range from flat 3km strolls to steep 10km hikes over peaks and into deep valleys. On Rinca the terrain is scarcely less impressive, and walks of between 500m and 4km are offered. Arrange your trek upon registration. All guides speak some English and are very knowledgeable about the islands’ flora and fauna. You should be glad of the guide's company when you spot ora (dragons can be dangerous, and have attacked and killed people). Admission is 150,000Rp per person per day (225,000Rp on weekends and public holidays) and subsequent fees accrue from there: 100,000Rp tourism tax, 25,000Rp to dive, 15,000Rp to snorkel and 80,000Rp for a guided walk for up to four people.